Adjustable rear air suspension system

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by mrbigh, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    For all of you savvy mechanics and car enthusiast, is it there any source for an adjustable air ride suspension kit that can be applied to our Prii? 2004-06
    I'm not tying to be fancy here, only practical when transporting cargo or pulling a hitch in order to level the vehicle to ground level. I though about the TRD Sportivo suspension but really doesn't apply to the purpose.
    Information will be greatly appreciated
    ;)
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Nope but that would probably help solve our bottoming out problems with ppl and cargo on board!
     
  3. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Oct 20 2006, 03:38 PM) [snapback]335762[/snapback]</div>
    Well.... I found a source for air ride suspension equipment, manufacturer is "Air Lift" and have complete Kits and spare parts also, the ones I like.
    I think that I will get bussy prety soon............... ;)
     
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  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That's a lotta mods recently lol. gl with that!
     
  5. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Oct 23 2006, 11:22 PM) [snapback]337165[/snapback]</div>
    I have to get a way around on almost 400lb additional, before scraping the pavement.
    It may cost me another divorce....LOL ;)
     
  6. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    might we suggest that you give some serious consideration to the impact on handling here... we know it's not the greatest as it is... but air suspension is mainly used on heavy vehicles for a reason.

    the suspension on your prius is made to damp road bumps and stabilize after hitting a bump. air won't prevent the car from bouncing multiple times after hitting bumps. on heavier vehicles, the weight of the vehicle helps to damp that post-bump bouncing.

    the coil-over shocks in the rear also serve to limit the amount of extension that the rear suspension member can achieve. you would have to impose your own limit with straps or something. if the straps break... ouch.

    if you're looking for something to adjust for cargo and etc, check out adjustable air coilovers or an air helper spring. a full air ride suspension is drastically more expensive and could even be dangerous on a prius.

    just so you know what you're getting into here :)
     
  7. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(galaxee @ Oct 23 2006, 11:38 PM) [snapback]337175[/snapback]</div>
    Hi Galaxee, I appreciate your explanations and enrolment on the matter, as always our prius community shows up for advice and knowledge.
    Our cars are designed to carry temporary extra loads, being passengers or a lot of potato chips bags, but temporary.
    When this cars are loaded with 4 humans I can testify that the rear end lowers at least 4 inches and be lucky not to go thru a bump speed in a parking lot because you can end up leaving a piece of the muffler on the road.
    Soon I will carry a permanent load and I have to circumvent this with a strategy of air suspension equipment to level the vehicle for everyday driving.
    Air Coilovers are expensive today days, available so far for Matrixes, but there is not a demand for it on Priis; my solution will be rear bags with customized mounting plates and a simple air supply system for the adjusting needs. So far this is a plan and I 'm just getting my information together but, when the moment comes I want to be ready to get dirty.
    ;)
     

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  8. ilusnforc

    ilusnforc Member

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    I've seen Thunderbirds that use a bag that goes inside the spring coil to provide extra support for additional weight, it is a very low cost and effective solution. As I recall, I think you just run the air line somewhere along the side of the car or in the wheel well area and you can stop at a gas station if you don't have a compressor and fill the bags to a specified pressure.
    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78921
    I used to have a Honda Insight, the weight capacity was 365 lbs, after that it starts to hit the rubber stopper in the rear suspension and bottom out. I've seen someone that needed it to hold more weight so he fabricated a spacer to raise the suspension. That solution just happened to work because the rubber stopper inside the spring coil that also holds the spring in place is very long, so there was room to space it and the spring would still not fall out. I haven't taken a close look at the Prius suspension yet but it may not work as easily with this solution...
    http://yves.fungiart.com/pages/suspension.htm
    I think there should be some simple air bags that can go inside the spring coils though, that would be an easy install that anyone can do without removing any suspension components and it is inexpensive yet should be effective.
     
  9. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    How well does the air suspension on some Citroen models work? The ability to raise and lower ride height to suit varying conditions sounds very appealing.
     
  10. San_Carlos_Jeff

    San_Carlos_Jeff Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hyo silver @ Oct 24 2006, 01:05 PM) [snapback]337556[/snapback]</div>
    I believe the Citroen suspensions were (are?) hydraulic.
     
  11. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ilusnforc @ Oct 24 2006, 03:52 PM) [snapback]337541[/snapback]</div>
    These are another example of ready available (10 days manufacturing) suspension components at $700.00 a pair. These replace the existing rear struts and a lot of labor.
    In addition we have to top it with brackets, fittings and the air management system. One thousand, easy out of my pocket.
     

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  12. comtech5

    comtech5 New Member

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    Does anyone know the name of the manufacturer for the above photo of adj. air susp. system in above post? Does not appear to be "Air Lift" brand.
     
  13. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    The supplier of these are "easystreet" and have a large selection of car accesories and equipment. Hope the info helps
     
  14. comtech5

    comtech5 New Member

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    Yes, helps...but are they available for Prius? If not, I wonder if they will custom fabricate one pair for Prius? Will give them a call tomorrow...looks like a good company for this type of thing. I am trying to attach a small motorcycle rack to a receiver hitch and haul my Vespa around that way. Coastal hitch does not have sufficient "tongue weight" rating for this (it's spec'd at 200lb). The receiver deflects badly, and both rack and vehicle bottom out with 450lb load test. I figure if I have a custom receiver hitch built with 1000lb tongue weight and combine that with the air lift suspension above, it should all work nicely. Although I admit, I really don't know what I'd be getting myself into as far as safety and potential damage to vehicle. I figure if three people can ride in back seat, why can't I hang a Vespa on the tail? Although I wouldn't try that simultaneously. I may be joining LIPOG soon, so I look forward to meeting you someday mrbigh.
     
  15. FB Classic Prius

    FB Classic Prius Junior Member

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    I am interested in the possibility of increasing my 2001 Prius's ground clearance a little bit for traveling on dirt roads once in a while. We used to go camping in our old VW van, but would like to be able to negotiate the occasional rough road in our Prius once in a while. I guess it's also partly a matter of load, since we would be loaded up with camping stuff.

    So, MRBIGH, let us all know what you find out.

    Thanks
     
  16. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Would like to bring this one back from the dead.

    To everybody who has my best interests at heart: I totally understand that overloading any vehicle is a scary, dangerous, bad idea. In many ways, just driving a car is a bad idea. We all take our risks. The fact of the matter is that I'm already overloading my car, and preventing the rear from sagging will only make it better. So now that I'm towing more, I'd sure like to find a way to keep the rear end a few inches higher.

    I use Air Lift bags on my RavEV (which I similarly load and tow with). It has been a DREAM, and offers all the benefits I'd hoped for. Rav Air Lift

    But looking at the rear suspension of the Prius shows that there's no place to put bags like this. Would SO like to find a solution! Anybody?
     
  17. Supreme

    Supreme Hypebeast

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  18. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Yikes. Thanks for the reply, but I'm looking for something WAY more simple. In the sub $200 range, not the $4,000 range! I don't need to slam the thing, I just want to add some more support for the rear end on some trips.
     
  19. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Did I mention that I'll be your best friend if you (or you, or you) come up with a great solution here?
     
  20. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Contact airlift and ask them if they have any plans for Prius systems or if they know of any company that makes air boosters for a Prius.
     
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